Picture the scene: you’re trying to cross a busy road in the city of Xiangyang. You should wait for the lights to change, but you are in a hurry, so you make a dash for it, weaving through the traffic.
A few days later, you might see your photo, name and government ID number on a huge electronic billboard above the intersection, outing you as a jaywalker.
But it is not just about the public shaming: surveillance cameras will feed into the country’s planned “social credit” scheme. Exactly how the national system will work remains unclear, but various trials are using both public and private sector data to score people on whether they are a good citizen.
You might lose points for driving inconsiderately, paying your bills late, or spreading false information. Score high, and perks might include free use of public bikes; score low, and you might be banned from taking trains.
Source: BBC Future
Date: January 30th, 2020
- How worried should you be about surveillance?
- What can you do about government surveillance, if anything?